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22 June 2021

AQS Liquid Transfer’s Largest Pontoon

The infrastructure challenges that we currently are experiencing often result in the need for innovative solutions around water management and ongoing development of equipment.

The problem presented was the extreme rise in water levels in the Klippan dam resulting in flooding of the surrounding areas which included the local golf course and parts of a gold processing plant. The major risk was the potential flooding of the electrical system of the gold plant.

Any number of possible solutions were considered, however the challenges of a receding shoreline during the dewatering of the dam would require the consistent movement of the traditional shore mounted pump sets. These sets would need to be either trailer or skid mounted exposing them to tampering or theft due to their location.

After assessment of the options by AQS Liquid Transfer and the client, it was decided that the best option was to create “floating pump stations” by mounting the pumps and motors on steel hulled pontoons and placing them “offshore”.

This method would prevent easy access to the equipment limiting tampering and theft. The other major benefit is the ability to relocate the pontoons as the water level recedes without having to do any additional civils or structure. The only requirement would be to lay down new anchors.

With our understanding of the suction requirements of the pumps as well as the buoyancy and center of mass requirements we designed two identical pontoons each with a total mass of 9500kg. Each pump set comprises a Vega VIX 250-4 close coupled to a 110kW 1480rpm electric motor. These pumps are mounted at 30 degrees to facilitate priming by submerging the eye of the impeller, eliminating the need for expensive priming devices.

Each pump set delivers 210 liters/second into a 4.2km 450mm pipeline with a difference in elevation of 19 meters into a canal.

The manufacturing of the pontoons was done in Johannesburg with strict quality controls and proper project planning allowing us to complete the five stages of the project with a 100% on time delivery.

These stages were:

  1. Consultation, Assessment and Design
  2. Drawing submission and Quotation
  3. Manufacture – Trial assembly, Sand blasting and Coating
  4. Disassemble and deliver to site
  5. Assemble, Install and Commission.

The opportunities to use this type of equipment include to dewater, dredge or apply in different market segments such as multiple mining applications, dewatering and flood control.

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